It’s Disturbingly Easy To Reroute Someone Else’s Mail

Image courtesy of Josh McGinn

The U.S. Postal Service has made the process of changing your address when you move super easy and convenient, by just filling out a form online and paying $1. Maybe that’s not so good, though: The process is so easy that an identity thief can redirect your mall to their address by just filling out a form online and paying $1.

A couple who were victims of this scheme contacted Kurtis Ming of CBS Sacramento to share their story. Yes, they received a letter at their home address that told them their mail was being redirected, but by the time that showed up, important mail like a Medicare card and a package containing prescription medication was redirected to the identity thief. The identity thief also opened a credit card in the husband’s name.

As an experiment, reporter Ming tried the USPS change of address form and tried to have a co-worker’s mail re-directed to him. She didn’t have to give permission, and her mail began to appear in his mailbox just over a week later.

The chief postal inspector issued only a statement about how important security is, while still making no changes to the process of changing one’s address.

“The U.S. Postal Service considers the security and sanctity of mail as one of its highest priorities. We continue to assess enhanced security options, as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of consumers.”

A local congressman is now pushing for hearings, and the Chief Postal Inspector would be compelled to testify.

The system that we have now was designed to make changing one’s address when moving more convenient.

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